20th Century Boys
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20th Century Boys

Alternative Titles

Synonyms: 20 Seiki Shounen, Nijuu Seiki Shounen, Nijuusseiki Shounen, 20thCB
Japanese: 20世紀少年
English: 20th Century Boys
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Type: Manga
Volumes: 22
Chapters: 249
Status: Finished
Published: Sep 27, 1999 to Apr 24, 2006
Genres: Award Winning Award Winning, Drama Drama, Mystery Mystery, Sci-Fi Sci-Fi
Themes: Historical Historical, Psychological Psychological
Demographic: Seinen Seinen
Serialization: Big Comic Spirits
Authors: Urasawa, Naoki (Story & Art)


Score: 8.951 (scored by 7420074,200 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #132
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #28
Members: 216,036
Favorites: 17,115



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Preliminary Spoiler
Aug 16, 2007
20th Century Boys is about a group of men (and one woman) who, when they had been children, had been best friends, sharing a "secret base" in an overgrown field: a sanctuary where they could read manga, listen to music, and hide from the most evil twins in history, Yanbo and Mabo. One day, their "creative genius," Kenji suggested they bury a time capsule, fill it with their treasured possessions, and agree to unearth it only when the earth was in grave danger, for they would then save it.

Years later, they find themselves leading ordinary, unglamorous lives, their dreams of greatness long-buried under the dust ...
Jan 6, 2009
While the whole "saving the world" kind of storyline isn't anything new, it does it so well that it makes the reader so engrossed in the story and not want to stop reading. The switch between timelines are done so well that it hardly leaves you confused on what is going on. There are so many twist and turns in the story which makes nearly every chapter such an enjoyable read.

The art is quite detailed and even as the art was already quite good from the start, as it goes on it steadily improves. I have to say Urusawa's distinct art style definitely is ...
Dec 8, 2007
20th Century Boys is a Seinen, Sci-fi, Psychological manga that takes storytelling to a whole new level.

From the beginning of the manga it is already clear what already happened and so the story just basically reveals, bit by bit, explaining the events that took place. However you have to be prepared for some major plot twists. What is so interesting about the story, is that it is set in different timelines (Childhood Era, Adult Era and Friend Era), which gives more insight into the characters and events that took place. However it is very hard to follow these different timelines, because it feels like reading ...
Jan 18, 2011
Mixed Feelings
The originality and success of 20th Century Boys owes itself to creator Urasawa Naoki's creativity and drawing talent. This is the kind of manga that you can get excited about and engross yourself in its story. Small boys in a little town dream big about saving the world and becoming defenders of justice, but the one thing they couldn't imagine is how their ideas will end up affecting the future.


The art is great. The characters and environments have a consistent and interesting style, and the drawings are a pleasure to look at. Urasawa-sensei does a great job at keeping the physical look of the characters ...
Aug 18, 2015
First of all, i apologize if i made any English mistake, Unfortunately, I'm not native speaker, It's also my first. hope it helps you

- 20 Century Boys -
The best manga I've read, I really can't describe the legendary of this manga by words..

Story: 10/10
It's about a group got involved in a disaster include the whole world. I've read/watched a lot of psychological/drama works, and this is the best one, Also the author of this manga is Monster author too

Naoki's art style is not shounen style, his art is distinct, not like the author, he made a new art style, Personally i prefer his art ...
Oct 25, 2010
I think that for some reason I'm not like most people who go wild for Urusawa's work. I feel the same way about 20CB that I did about Monster, too long, average art, average characters. So I'm not trying to offend anybody, this is just a review from a different perspective.

Story: First of all just like Monster, the story is far too long for its own good. There are 2 or 3 points where it could have been ended satisfactorily, but it lurched back to its feet and kept plodding along for many more volumes.

The contents of the story are very simple. Man ...
Aug 26, 2021
I don't usually binge anything, I like to take my time with things, but when I was reading 20CB, the power in my house happened to go out for the entire day so with nothing better to do I read the final 130ish chapters of the manga in that one day, and honestly I think it served to better my experience with it.

Personally, I seem to prefer the scenes when the boys are young, rather than the more important adult moments. The flashbacks, I guess you could call them, seem to have this whimsical wonder to them. The whole, making secret bases and hiding ...
Feb 23, 2009
This is one of the most engrossing and enjoyable works of fiction I have been lucky enough to experience. Across the mediums of film, literature, or graphic fiction, "20th Century Boys" stands tall as a true joy.

The story will capture your imagination, refusing to let go until you finish. (I read it twice in as many years; both occasions barely allowed me to complete the neccessary tasks of my life for those couple weeks I spent reading.) "20th Century Boys" does not attempt to transcend its melodramatic model, but it is an all-the-more-praiseworthy effort as a result. Simply put, Naoki Urasawa is a master ...
Dec 19, 2009
What could be the consequences from a child game ? What could be created by the imagination of children which are craving for adventures.20 Century Boys is a kind of manga which is shining with it's own brilliance and marvelous idea.Created from Naoki Urasawa it really absorbs every reader with it's story.Again the mangaka show us his unique story telling and proves that he is like a "prodigy" in the manga world.He shows us that every memory we have during our years of living is very precious and remembering it we feel like we at the same place where we were as children,when ...
Feb 8, 2021
THIS IS THE SIGN YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR..... stop scrolling through the reviews and read this masterpiece there is nothing more to say.

One of the best suspense thriller manga written by none other than Naoki Urusawa, this manga moves like a movie and not a book that's all thanks to Urusawa's panel composition and art style and story telling.
an absolute ride to say the least.
the characters are well developed, there are great moments which will either have you laughing or crying.

Every decision a character makes in the story their motives make sense as there is a sense of development shown throughout and it ...
Nov 27, 2020
This will be my review for 20th Century Boy, not including the mess that was 21st Century Boys.

!!-Slight spoilers included-!!

Art: 9.5/10
Let's knock this off first. Urasawa's art isn't breathtakingly amazing. It's simple and straightforward. It wavers between realism and cartoonish, which surprisingly fits the world and his storytelling method perfectly. However, the best aspect of his art style is- emotions. No matter the situation, Uraswa will convey a characters' subtle feelings, be it isolation, depression, anger, or pure joy, through his art alone.

Story: 10/10
I'm gonna keep this short. 20th-century boys starts off with a bang. The air of mystery and suspense hooks the ...
Mar 5, 2020
There are times you just want a really good story that will take you on a wild ride. It helps if it also ends up being really, really well done.

This is another series that is just…like I can’t even cover half of it without explicitly giving parts away. There’s so much to it...

One thing to note: this series does flashback a lot, and does it extremely well, so you just need to hang on.

The basic plot is that Kenji and his friends have formed a club in their secret base, a grass hut that they built in a meadow. They meet there a lot in ...
Mar 16, 2021
You ever have those times when you just breeze right through a manga volume...I mean when you really get into its flow and feel right there? 20th Century Boys made me cry, and it was every bit as awesome as I could've hoped for.

The thoughtful panelling and distinct comfort with which Urasawa allows his art style to unfold so naturally to give life to all the well-conceived/implemented characters was absolutely precious to experience. What a windingly wild tale, where interpersonal interactions are carried out so well you'd think the mangaka had lived multiple lives already. What some might describe as filler or derailment serves to ...
Sep 4, 2020
This is hands-down one of the best stories I have ever read, manga or otherwise. From the very first few chapters, it gripped me and never let go. Once I began, I did my best to binge-read it, not because it called for that, but because I wanted to.

Naoki Urasawa is a master of storytelling, and with 20th Century Boys, you can easily see why. The story evolved into something I couldn't have imagined when beginning it, embracing all different types of genres, be it comedy, paranormal, or outright horror. It takes a look at the silly dreams of children, and the terror those ...
Feb 2, 2015
Just when I thought there couldn't exist something better than Monster, I was surprised by how far superior Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys is. Sadly no anime adaptation exists for this manga yet. And I could only hope that in the current era where old works are being revived , this may get an anime adaptation soon.
The Plot : 10/10
Just Perfect ! Multi-layered stories with a switch back and forth through timelines without ever feeling out of place , This is a story that is perfectly executed with lots of suspense and intense to the fullest. The childish cover may dismiss a lot of people ...
Jun 27, 2017
Mixed Feelings
More like 22 (+2) volumes of blue balls.
20th Century Boys promises a lot, shows the most exciting teases and engrossing demonstrations but all the build up is hardly worth a damn when nothing comes after.
I held off from reviewing this until reading 21st Century Boys since that seemed to be the real conclusion to the story and while is does a better job of giving some closure it's still awful.

Art: one of the few things that are absolutely impeccable about this manga. Urasawa is good or nearly perfect at everything that comprises the visual aspect of the manga. His characters fit right ...
Oct 2, 2021
One word; Perfect.

Story (10)
The best there is, you can read the concept in the MAL description of the manga so I wont bore you with that. But anyway its kind of a detective type story of some sort (atleast in the first 50-70 chapters), its also a HUGE mistery getting slowly revealed, for example what is it that Donkey, a kid who doesn't belive in ghosts saw in the science room that made him jump from the second story? And many more.

Art (10)
Naoki Urasawa is my favorite mangaka because of his storytelling and stories. BUT he also has the best artstyle for me. You can ...
Oct 21, 2013
20th century boys is very different for all I ever saw, you have a couple of guys living in a "adult world", but is the type of a children mind, the capacity of the "friend" persuade people is very high, but in fact, the people are easiest persuaded, like ONU, the first minister of Japan. The world is to idiot, the people don't think and follow a crazy man who didn't show his face, who convinced them just making a couple of magic tricks.
The minority part of people, who have a behavior like a real adult, it's the "resistance?" part of that world, ...
Jan 8, 2015
Preliminary (150/249 chp)
First of all I will apologize for the mistakes I could make, I'm not a native speaker so it isn't always easy for me to speak in a foreign langage.

Story : 10/10

I know 10 isn't really objective but if I had to choose one manga for my entire life I think it is this one. I'm not going to explain the story, it isn't really useful. I just want to say that the author have developed perfectly the story, there isn't one mistake in it. There is a lot of suspense and it's not by accident that the author is called "the master of ...
Jul 22, 2009
Being a fan of T. Rex, I was immediately interested in a book that referenced him in the title. I was even more interested to find out it was by Naoki Urasawa, the genius behind Monster. I started reading it right away, and hardly put it done till I was finished with it, and also finished the sequel right after that. Well there's two things I want to say in the opening paragraph, first is that even though this is an amazing Manga series, I can't help but feel it isn't quite at that level of Monster, and that being said, neither is it the ...